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Visions : Notes of the seminar given in 1930-1934 (2 Volume Set) (Bollingen)

Dr. Harding: She might cry with the psalmist: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Dr. Jung: Yes, we have already met such a rock in the vision, and what did we say about it?

You see, it is an overwhelming situation; perhaps the only thing to do is to cling to a passing log and try to keep afloat.

One is pretty desperate.

Now what do people do in such conditions?

Miss Hannah: She would try to find the Self of which she is the object.

Dr. Barker: People usually pray.

Dr. Jung: There you have it.

She says: “I wanted to pray.

Then I knew that I could only pray to my star.”

The star is a symbol of her uniqueness.

As stars are unique units in the heavens, so individuals are in a way stars, they are unique units.

The innermost substance is a microcosm, as every star is a microcosm.

The earth is a microcosm in the great cosmos of the stars and we are ourselves microcosms upon the earth.

Each of us, every living being, is a small earth, one could say, because we are in intimate connection with the earth, we are partially earth, we are conscious of our earthly body, for instance.

The star symbol means the center of a mandala, and the meditation on the Self or the meditation on the mandala is prayer; in many different religions that concentration upon a point outside of oneself, not identical with oneself, is called prayer.

One could not say that the ego was the microcosm because the ego is only the center or the focus of the individual consciousness, and consciousness reaches only as far as the conscious material reaches.

It doesn’t even cover the very important functions of the digestion, or the heart; for instance, there are enormous spaces of the psyche that lie beyond the conscious sphere. So the totality of all that is not the ego-the ego is merely one part that belongs to a totality-the sum total is called the Self.

The center of that totality does not necessarily coincide with the ego system, just as the center of our galaxy of stars does not coincide with our sun, and the center of our solar system does not coincide with the earth; we cannot assume that our earth is the center of the universe.

It was discovered long ago that the earth is in the periphery of something bigger, it is an appendix of the sun, and even the sun is an appendix of a larger system, a galaxy of unknown extent.

We cannot think of our earth as a sun, nothing is revolving round us except perhaps the moon; the ego is a little system like the earth with the moon, but it is by no means the center of the universe.

The Self is the center of the totality of the psyche in as far as we can measure it or have an intuition about it, or in as far as we have dreams about it, and surely beyond, for we cannot assume that we are informed through our dreams of everything that is happening in our psyche.

We cannot even be certain that it is our own psyche; it might be, but there are many things in our unconscious, and we are by no means sure whether they really belong to us or to somebody else.

It is quite sure that we are somewhere swimming in the same river with everybody else, and that certain contents are flowing and drifting in between individuals, so sometimes they are in me and sometimes they are in another.

Therefore in a desperate situation like this, the religious reaction is absolutely to the point; this woman must have something to cling to that lifts her out of the rush of the waters; otherwise she will be carried away.

If she wants to stop, to become reflective, if she wants to realize her inner vision, she must have a point d ‘appui; she must have a point outside of the earth, where she can put in her lever.

And that is the Self, often symbolized as a star, the real center of the mandala.

Now she goes on: “I took it” (the star) “forth from my breast and laid it on the ground and knelt before it.”

Here we learn that the star has been in her breast.

And with what was it identical there?

Mrs. Baumann: It is the flame in anahata. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Pages 1158-1159